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Miami Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog
When a loved one dies it is always a difficult time. When the death is sudden and unexpected as the result of an accident, a family is hit especially hard. If the accident appears to have been the result of another person's negligence or wrongdoing, the family often looks for answers as to how the accident happened and who was at fault.
Under Florida law, if one person causes the death of another through negligence, carelessness or other wrongful conduct, the victim's next of kin have the right to recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. The compensation includes damages for loss of financial support and loss of companionship.
Florida is home to numerous immigrants from Central American and Caribbean nations. According to one survey about one in five residents of the state was born in another country. Latinos are a major part of the immigrant community, and make up more than 23 percent of the state's population.
Anyone paying attention to the current presidential election campaign knows that several candidates have made illegal immigration a major issue. As we discussed in a recent post, many Florida immigrants have responded to the anti-immigrant election rhetoric by applying for naturalization in order to gain the right to vote and have their voices heard this fall.
Imagine this scenario: You are walking through the mall to find some new clothes and a birthday gift for your sister. You realize you are running late to meet friend for dinner and are rushing out to your car. Before you get there, however, you are suddenly attacked, robbed and injured.
In these situations, you are likely going to suffer considerable damages including physical injury and emotional distress. You might assume that your assailant is the only person responsible for these injuries, but there is a possibility the mall or property owners will share some of that liability.
People who come to Miami, anywhere throughout Florida or the entire U.S. and are seeking naturalization might be intimidated by all the various rules that have to be followed in completing the task. While these rules are in place to provide a level playing field for those who choose to apply for naturalization, there are also exceptions and accommodations that are available to certain people. If an applicant meets the criteria, it is possible to receive these.
There is an English language exception available to those who are age 50 and older when they file and have lived in the U.S. as a green card holder - a permanent resident - for 20 years. This is known as the "50/20" exception. A person who is at least age 55 and is filing for naturalization must have lived with a green card in the U.S. for 15 years. This is known as the "55/15" exception. It is still required to take the civics test. This will be given in the native language of the applicant. If that is that case, an interpreter must be brought along with the interpreter needing to be fluent in both languages. People who are 65 or older and have had a green card for a minimum of 20 years will be given special consideration with the civics test.
A horrific crash at a Miami intersection took the life of an elderly woman and sent a number of people to local hospitals recently. The accident happened when a dump truck from the city public works department rear-ended a taxi cab that was waiting at a stoplight. The cab was thrown about 50 feet by the force of the impact. Eight other vehicles, including two buses, were also hit. The woman who died was a passenger in the back seat of the taxi. The taxi driver suffered critical injuries.
When confronted with the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident, grieving family members are often left with a lot of questions, as well as a desire to seek justice. If the accident was the result of another person's negligence, the family has the right under Florida law to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages can include loss of support, loss of companionship and funeral expenses for the deceased.
There are a lot of good reasons for an immigrant to become a U.S. citizen. These include the ability to sponsor family members for permanent residency, the ability to travel outside the U.S. for longer periods of time and the ability to receive federal financial aid for college. Today, for many immigrants in Miami, these reasons take second place to more urgent need -- the right to vote.
Many immigrants are responding to the candidacy of Donald Trump by applying for citizenship. Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric has caused a great deal of fear in the immigrant community, and many are responding by seeking the right to vote in order to protect themselves and their families. Mexican consulates around the country are urging U.S. citizens who came here from Mexico to make their voices heard by voting in the election this fall.
Throughout the history of the United States, people fleeing oppression and persecution in other lands have come here to start a new life in safety. Many apply for asylum under U.S. immigration law. If their application is approved, they can remain in the U.S.
Since at least the mid-20th Century, the backyard swimming pool has been an iconic symbol of the Florida lifestyle. But swimming pools can be dangerous places, especially for small children. Every year in the U.S. swimming pool drownings claim the lives of about 350 children under the age of 5-years-old. Most of these drownings occur in backyard pools.
When a swimming pool drowning occurs, the property owner can often be held accountable in a premises liability lawsuit. Premises liability is the legal theory that holds a negligent property owner liable when a person is injured or killed due to hazardous conditions on the property.
In recent years it has become tragically common for unaccompanied children to travel thousands of miles from Central America to the Florida and other places in the U.S. to flee oppression or rejoin family members in America. When they arrive, many are arrested and face deportation hearings -- without the assistance of an attorney. A lawsuit filed in Washington State seeks to change that, and argues children facing deportation have the right to be represented by an attorney when they appear in immigration court.
The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and several immigrant rights organizations. The case gained national attention when a former immigration judge testified that children as young as 3 and 4-years-old often appeared in his courtroom without a lawyer. The plaintiffs in the case include children from Florida, Texas, California and Washington State.
For many immigrants in the Miami area, permanent residency and citizenship are dreams they have pursued for many years. Others want to come to the U.S. to join family members who are already here. Still others simply want to work or study in the U.S. for a few years before returning to their homelands. Whatever people's goals in coming to the U.S., it is essential to understand their rights and obligations under U.S. immigration law.
The immigration laws of the U.S. are complicated and intimidating. For many people, American immigration laws are like a maze through which an immigrant must find their way without getting lost. And a violation of U.S. immigration law, even if unintentional, can have serious consequences ranging from visa revocation to denial of permanent residency and even deportation.
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